Target: The African World Cup

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 8, 2010

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — It is very sad to see a TV sports network continue to racially slant their negative reporting on athletes of color.

We all know that provocative stories sell; these stories capture ratings, sex catches the viewer’s attention. A racially-tinged stories creates controversy.

ESPN continues this loud drum beat and continues to profit from the misfortunes of minority athletes.

This past Sunday on “Outside The Lines”, the network aired another program with racial and sexual overtones. This program material had nothing to do with sports. It had nothing to do with the World Cup teams, players, or coaches.

Their segment shed light on the problem Johannesburg is having with the experience of the sudden influx of young ladies of the night roaming their streets the week before the FIFA World Cup Games.

Human trafficking is a world wide problem, not particular to South Africa. It is not a sporting event, so why report on this now? Why on ESPN? This is a news event and the ABC News department should have reported on this situation.

The show reported that young African women from neighboring countries and Chinese women have entered or will be entering South Africa with undocumented or forged-doctored papers.

These beautiful young individuals will be trying to make money and a living on their backs.

(OTL) also reported the German Police did a better job at stopping this activity when the World Cup was in Deutschland (Germany).

ESPN or OTL did not give any suggestions on how or what methods the German Police Force used to stop this ugly industry. There was not a single Black South African Government official on the show to answer any of the inquires by this network.

It is the duty of the reporter and the network to attain both sides of the story. This was not done. This can be viewed as dreadful reporting.

ESPN and OTL never mentioned the fact that high class call girls where trucked in from all over the country to service NFL executives during the Super Bowl Week each weekend.

Not a single news agency reported this story. Why?

Fair and honest reporting would go against “The Mouse” intention’s to denigrate people of color. It would dismantle ESPN’s political and racial agenda. It just would not gain ratings.

This program was a clear back slap in the face of the South African Police Force for not doing a better job in their estimation. They have been overwhelmed with the security and safety of the teams, the visiting dignitaries including national presidents, and World Cup fans from the 30 nations participating.

This same police force that has been on constant alert for a potential terrorist attack on their homeland. There is a constant drum beat coming from the studios of Bristol, Connecticut against athletes and individuals of color around the world.

Would it be too much to ask ESPN and the producers of OTL to report a positive uplifting story about the World Cup. This will be first time the World Cup will be played on the continent of Africa.

Why don’t they (ESPN and OTL) report on the joy, the new friendships, and the cooperation of other African nations to make this event possible?

No, it’s much easier to cast stones of dispersion without knowing the massive effort it took to produce this grand sporting event.

ESPN, The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network which currently owned by the Walt Disney Corporation is known as “The Mouse” in certain circles. In this case, my BASN colleague Michael Lewis Ingram would say “THE RAT”.

ESPN continues fulfilling its slanted racial agenda on world airwaves by constantly attacking athletes of color. This covert action by this network is not fair, or right. This kind of broadcasting should cease immediately.

Most Americans get of their sports news from this network. They watch these stories unfiltered. It is not fair because there is not an objective equivalent television sports network to rival or refute “The Mouse” when they are incorrect or misinformed.

The next question, is this kind of reporting ethical?

This network should be called on the national and world news carpet by the National Broadcasting Board of Governors, (NAACP) The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, The Black Congressional Congress, the Urban League, and African American Sports fans.

A form of protest should also be filed by the Chinese government, the African governments, and the South American Governments.

The World Cup theme song “Wavin Flag” by Somalian singer song writer K’naan; has not been aired on the ESPN family of networks. Could it be because he is of darker hue? This is one of the most inspirational songs of this decade.

There is a line in the song that states “When I get older, I will be stronger; they call me freedom, just like a waving flag”. This should be the motivational song for all athletes of the world.

This is a political-protest song that is very surprising that it would be tagged to a world sporting event. K’naan has produced a milder Spanish and Portuguese sporty version of this song which removes many of the poignant political points.

Apparently ESPN does not want this event to have a profitable happy ending and that is a shame because this is an historical sporting event.

Until world wide political and economical protest occur, “The Mouse” will continue this kind of racial, social, and economically slanted reporting.